One of India’s Largest Training Camps on Ecological Agriculture Ongoing in Karnataka

2017-01-16 Public.jpegMasses of people gathered together is not an unusual sight in India; this is common at religious events or political mobilizations. But to see thousands of farmers come together to attend a class on ecological farming is extraordinary. One such class is taking place at the Muruga Matha, a religious institution in southern Karnataka, where a five-day intensive study camp on a chemical-free farming method called Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is taking place. 

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“Agroecology is a Way of Life”, an in-depth interview with students of agroecologic school EDUCAR

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2017-01-04-Educar3.jpegJanuary 2, 2017 (First published by The Dawn News

From the solidarity group of Çiftçi-SEN / Turkey (Confederation of Small-Farmers’ Unions).

I was in Brazil to participate in the “International Encounter of Struggling Youth” as a Turkish delegate, which was held in Marica, Rio de Janeiro in June 2016. After the youth encounter, I had the chance to stay a couple of weeks in Brazil to visit some camps and settlements of the Agrarian Reform, some cooperatives and agroecology schools of MST.

This was a moment great importance to discover, because MST was putting very much importance both on the theoretical and practical sides of agroecology. MST consider agroecology as a way of life, a way connecting to the society, as well as a struggle against agribusiness and the ongoing coup process put in forward by the neoliberal Temer government (1). This means that agroecology is not only a method of farming, but also a life vision, which is build up day by day in the camps and settlements, in the formal or informal agroecology schools, in political formation of the militants. In other words, each space of MST is based on the formation of agroecology, as a political paradigm against the transnational agribusiness hegemony over agriculture and food systems.

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Agroecology in Puerto Rico

2017-01-04-WhyHunger.jpgJanuary 4, 2017 (First published by WhyHunger)

“I feel that that’s the revolution; a just way to live, a way in harmony with not just with the environment—with people, with everything around us because we are nature, we are a part of nature. Agroecology for me represented the most harmonious way to create that way of life.” - Josué Lopez

On November 11th to 13th, La Via Campesina member organization Organización Boricuá held the Campamento Agroecológico de Formación Política [Agroecological Encampment for Political Formation] at the Siembra Tres Vidas farm in the mountainous municipality of Aibonito, located one hour south of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The encampment’s 25-plus participants brought together members of Organización Boricuá, other activists involved in agroecology projects throughout the island, and activists and organizers involved in other social struggles. I participated in the three-day encampment as a representative of WhyHunger, to develop our understanding of the current context in Puerto Rico and to learn more about the organizing work happening on the island around agroecology.

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“Big Dairy Farms are big evil”, Jyoti Fernandes at FAO symposium on agroecology

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-11-29_Jyoti_FAO_Symposium.JPGA delegation representing La Via Campesina spoke at the FAO led symposium on Agroecology, held in Budapest from the 24-25th of November. The symposium was hosted by the Government of Hungary with support from the Government of France. 

Jyoti Ferndandes, a dairy farmer and representing European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) and Nyeleni Europe, was one of the speakers from the delegation. 

She spoke extensively on why agribusiness is an outdated idea and how agroecology is evolving. “Agroecology is innovating every day and it develops in a way that we have control over our resources. Building on that knowledge, it is bringing in a new model of agriculture where everyone has a right to access healthy and affordable food.”, she said.

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